In recent months, the national news has been filled with stories about police force and debate over whether the actions of a suspect play any role into how aggressive the authorities are when making a routine traffic stop or when approaching a potential suspect on foot. Tragically, several recent stories have ended with either a suspect or police officer’s death, and it does not seem like a workable answer is close. With this national spotlight, it is important for everyone to understand their rights, but to understand those rights within the context of police questioning, or even an arrest. It seems as though if a suspect makes a sudden movement, appears to be reaching for a weapon, or refuses to show their hands when asked, the situation will quickly escalate. Unfortunately, when police interaction with every day citizens escalates, the end result is one that is violent and perhaps even deadly.
If you are charged with resisting arrest, the damage you do to your case depends on whether the resistance was with or without violence. Resistance with violence includes things like kicking, hitting, punching, or using a weapon in an attempt to obstruct an officer from making an arrest. Resisting arrest without violence is still an obstruction of the officer’s attempt to make an arrest, but no violent act is included. In either case, the prosecution will have to prove certain things in order to obtain a conviction for resisting arrest. This could include showing the following things:
• The officer had the authority to make the arrest.
• The person resisting did so during an attempt by a person with authority to make the arrest, and knowingly engaged in an act that would obstruct the lawful execution of the arrest.
This can be a tough standard for the prosecution to meet, because it requires the prosecution to establish the defendant’s state of mind. This part of the test can be tricky, but other requirements, such as what actions constituted the resistance, can be minor. For instance, a simple tightening of your muscles to make it more difficult to be placed in handcuffs could be seen as resistance. Refusing to sit, stand, or make any other movement the officer directs is also considered resistance. And, of course, providing false or misleading information to an officer when asked a question is deemed resisting arrest. If you have been arrested, and part of the charges in the case against you includes resisting arrest, call us for help. We know what to do to minimize the impact this type of case has, and look forward to helping you today.
Call an experienced criminal defense attorney in Key West for help with criminal defense. Contact our office today for more information about what to do next.